Need a job? Looking for an internship for the summer? The Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s new Job Board at www.vwrrc.vt.edu/jobs/ could help you. View the list of current job announcements we’ve received or join our Water Jobs Google Group to receive emails with current job listings. The website also includes links to sites with career resources. The site provides information for those looking for work in Virginia as well as those looking for work beyond the Commonwealth’s border.
Virginia Conservation Fellowship (VCF) at University of Mary Washington
A prestigious, selective, year-long work/study program for juniors/seniors of color and other groups underrepresented in Virginia environmentalism. Open to both GMU and University of Mary Washington students. Apply by February 15, 2023.
See details here: https://academics.umw.edu/communityengagement/about/virginia-conservation-fellowship/
The Mr. Rodgers of Ecology is what a colleague suggested that Dr. Don Kelso be called due to his engaging, easy-going nature and passion for connecting students to aquatic ecosystems. We are thrilled that Dr. Kelso was honored at the naming ceremony during the Don Kelso Learning Pier kick off event. This pier will allow students and researchers direct access to the Occoquan river from Potomac Science Center, which Dr. Kelso, along with Dr. Chris Jones, worked tirelessly for two decades to start. Dr. Kelso was the first freshwater ecologist in the College of Science and this pier is just one way that his passion for science communication, outreach, and education can be achieved.
Learn more about Dr. Kelso at the following links:
and Learn more about the pier here: https://giving.gmu.edu/giving/science/don-kelso-pier-potomac-science-center/
After nearly 20 years of planning and work at multiple levels of government, Prince William is now home to the newest segment of the historic Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail — an 800-mile network of locally managed trails along the Potomac River.
The new segment, while only 1 mile long, is a key part of the trail because it finally connects the eastern Woodbridge community of Belmont Bay to Veterans Memorial Park via the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The addition is part of a trail segment that will eventually connect Mount Vernon with Quantico. Read more.
There is a brand new mural at Potomac Science Center! The mural was painted by TakerOne, an artist who hails from Hungary.
New mural at Mason’s Potomac Science Center highlights native species
There’s a guy spray-painting a wall in the Belmont Bay area of Woodbridge, Virginia, and the community members couldn’t be happier.
The guy is international graffiti artist TakerOne, and the wall he is working on belongs to George Mason University’s Potomac Science Center. His mural, “Fauna of Belmont Bay,” is part of the Murals at Mason’s larger eco-consciousness mural series titled Elements, and the result of a university-community partnership.
In the “Fauna of Belmont Bay,” the muralist and street artist from Budapest, Hungary, highlights four species that inhabit Belmont Bay: the yellow swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus), the tree frog (Hyla cinerea), the wood duck (Aix sponsa), and the North American river otter (Lontra canadensis). Read more.
New Belmont Bay mural showcases wildlife native to the Potomac
On his website, TakerOne says he wants people to stop and say “wow” when they see his work. His goal is to add color to gray cities and to “beautify our built environment” on a grand scale. Last week, TakerOne began creating a mural on the science center’s parking garage that highlights the biodiversity of the Potomac River one spray can at a time. Read more.
When Dr. Don Kelso joined the Mason faculty in 1970, both the university, and the field of environmental science, were just getting started. A pioneering aquatic ecologist, Kelso remained a fixture within the Department of Biology, and Mason, for the next 35 years until retiring in 2006.
A mentor and friend to hundreds of students, he was a key figure in establishing the PhD program in Environmental Science and Public Policy in 2000, the first PhD program in the sciences at Mason and the first doctoral program of its kind in the country.
Now a group of Kelso’s former students have united to honor his legacy at the Potomac Science Center, the waterfront environmental research center that Kelso played a central role in establishing.
On May 22, a group of over 30 former students, colleagues, and family gathered with Kelso at the Potomac Science Center to celebrate and thank him for his positive influence on their lives. They also kicked off a campaign to fund and build the Don Kelso Learning Pier.
Here at Mason, COVID-19 cases can be caught early, because researchers at Potomac Science Center are testing sewage for COVID-19 RNA.
A student from Dr. Cindy Smith‘s undergraduate environmental science course was recently interviewed for GMU’s news. Distance learning has been a challenging for the whole university, but PEREC faculty and students have gone out of their way to find new and unique learning opportunities.
Smith said she had several students who expanded the original assignment. She attributes that to the remote learning forced by the pandemic.
“They have to locate their own study sites,” Smith said, “and because they set up their own, they have to think more critically about how they collect their data and what their results might mean for human and environmental health.”
“Dr. Smith and [teaching assistant and Mason PhD student] Chelsea Gray have been incredible throughout this whole thing,” O’Keefe said. “They’re involved, supportive and proactive, and they connect to their class.”
Cover photo: Sammie collecting samples, photo by Aileen Devlin, Virginia Sea Grant
Sammie Alexander, a Master’s student of Environmental Science and Policy, is a lead author on her first study, published with Dr. CJ Schlick and Dr. Kim de Mutsert (Read it here). Learn about her journey as a young scientist and researcher and the surprising ways scientific questions can arise.